While I may have “escaped” winter this time by living in the Mediterranean, I find myself yearning for a snowy vacation destination. Luckily, I hail from the one country that does winter best. After all, us Canadians don’t label ourselves as #WeTheNorth for nothing.
Expedia.ca found out about my love for the Canadian winter and asked me to write about one of my all-time favourite wintery spots in the world – Banff, Alberta in Canada. This western Canadian city was made for enjoyment in the snow. Tucked within the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by snow-capped peaks that dominate the skyline, Banff National Park’s vistas never tire.
Driving towards Banff from Calgary, Alberta
I’ll never forget the first time I went to Banff, Alberta. Making the (beautiful) drive from Calgary northwards, I caught a glimpse of something in the distance that I had just assumed were clouds. As we rounded a bend shadowed by evergreens, the road opened to reveal the most majestic scene I had ever laid eyes on. I literally gasped as I saw my very first mountain soaring skyward at impossible heights. The further we drove, the more embedded we became in the ridge until we were completely surrounded by mountain peaks piercing the skyline in a continuous undulating panorama.
Me Snowboarding at Lake Louise in Banff National Park.
Right then and there I decided the mountains were where I belonged. While most long for endless sandy beaches, I feel the beckon call of the mountains. And it was Banff that put that original hold on my heart. I can’t wait to return and fall in love all over again, especially with my love by my side. Banff is the definitely perfect place for a romantic escape, with so many activities ideal for two to enjoy.
I’ve compiled the Top 10 Romantic Things to Do and Eat in and around Banff, Alberta, that are sure to make you fall in love all over again.
1. Hit the Slopes
It wouldn’t be winter in Western Canada without some serious shredding, and Banff boasts some of the best series of ski hills in the country. . Take advantage the “powder triangle” with a Tri-Area Lift Ticket, which allows you access to the three major mountains: Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, and Mt Norquay.
2. Snowshoe Hand in Hand
If gliding down steep snow-covered mountain peeks isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the winter outdoors. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and head off together hand-in-hand at your own leisurely pace to explore the beauty of Banff’s protected playground. For the adventurous, try the once-in-a-lifetime Helicopter Snowshoe Adventure. After hopping in helicopter, you and your partner will be taken to a remote part of the mountain and guided through a scenic snowshoe trail. At the end, snuggle up together to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate and baileys.
3. Take a dip in the Hot Springs
Ease sore muscles and warm up by taking a dip in one of Banff’s infamous hot springs. Get there first thing in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds and get the springs all to yourself.
4. Ride a Horse Drawn Sleigh
Wrap yourselves together under thick blankets and embark on a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride into the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, whilst enjoy the stunning scenery in peaceful silence. Warm up with steaming mugs of hot apple cider, and bask in the stillness of the sound-stifling snowy surroundings.
5. Hole up in a Hotel
Photo by Visions of Vogue
Is there anything more romantic then cozying up by a roaring stone fireplace, as snow falls softly outside? The two most spectacular places to do just that are the two Fairmont hotels: Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Both feel like majestic castles rising out of the rocky outcrop, and offer some of the most beautiful vistas in the area, as well as plenty of state-of-the-art facilities to make your romantic getaway go off without a hitch.
Romantic Eats & Drinks:
6. Cougar Milk Cheers
Park Distillery, a new campfire-concept restaurant, is the perfect post-ski spot. Order the ‘cougar milks’, their winter take on bullet-proof coffee cocktails, that are sure to instantly warm the two of you up.
7. Fondue for Two
A Banff local institution, The Grizzly House restaurant claims its “for Lovers and Hedonists.” The interaction element makes for an ideal date night.
8. Sharing is Caring Plates
Photo by The Healthy Maven
Feed each other savoury bites from a shareable dish. The Nachos at Nourish Bistro are topped with 28 ingredients, and with the motto being “a place to share” there is no better way to show someone you care by feeding them chips dripping in melted cheese. Or, op for the delectable charcuterie platter at Cliffhouse Bistro.
9. Dining with a view
With heights on Banff’s side, there are some great vistas in which to enjoy a meal from. Have dinner at either Three Ravens Restaurant & Wine Bar or Cliffhouse Bistro, both perched perfectly to take in the mountainous views.
10. Sweet Treats
End your romantic getaway on sweet note with a Canadian classic, Beavertails (just try ’em). Also well-loved are the home-baked desserts from Wild Flour Bakery , or the uber-sweet delicacies from The Fudgery .
What’s your idea of the perfect romantic getaway? I’d love to hear by commenting below!
Did you enjoy this list of Top 10 Romantic Things to Do in Banff?
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